Planned Parenthood and the Lord of Life and Death

By Matt Beard

Over the past few weeks, it has been hard to ignore the atrocities of abortion. Rightly so. It is beyond denial that Planned Parenthood has not only been responsible for ripping hundreds of thousands of innocent children from the safety of their mother’s womb but they have also been careful in their efforts in order to preserve the possibility of profit from baby parts. Indeed, #PPsellsbabyparts.

I wasn’t sure whether I should link to the videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s practices because they are absolutely shocking and sickening. However, I think we have allowed ourselves to be so utterly desensitized to the horror of abortion that we must be shocked. We must be jolted into action for the sake of the helpless.  Here are the links to three of the videos that have been released so far:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

I’m a brand new dad, and when I watch these videos as I hold my newborn daughter in my arms, I can’t help but weep. Only a few weeks ago this organization and the people who work for it would have considered it a perfectly valid and moral option to decide whether she was worthy of breath or only worthy of being sold at a price, for their own profit.

Why is this so shocking? Why is there outrage over the idea that someone would not only be willing to perform an abortion but also seek to profit from the sale of the baby’s “leftover parts”? It is because this is not merely an issue of greed or questionable morality. This is an image of God issue.

The Scriptures are clear. Human beings are made in the image of God.

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
-Genesis 1:27

The reality of the image of God must be understood biblically or our whole view of humanity will be skewed. The devaluing of human life, any human life, is always an assault on the image of God. That’s true whether the issue is racism or abortion. By the way, those two issues are intimately connected. Matt Smethurst recently tweeted that more black children were aborted than born in New York City in 2013. See the source for that information here. If we are to think rightly about any of these issues, we must first be confronted with and conformed to the truth that all human beings are made in the image of God. The Scriptures are also clear on the fact that issues of life and death are in the hand of God.

See now that I, even I, am he,
and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
I wound and I heal;
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
-Deuteronomy 32:39

In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
-Job 12:10

When we take life and death into our own hands, we claim for ourselves a position that we do not hold. This illegitimate claim is not unusual for mankind. We have been doing it from the beginning. When our forebears Adam and Eve were tempted, they were not tempted simply to eat of the fruit of a tree. They were tempted by Satan to stake a claim on the rights that are held by the Creator alone. We continue in their sin when we consider ourselves to be the rightful judge of who lives and who dies.

Make no mistake. To claim the power of life and death is nothing less than satanic. The actions of Planned Parenthood and all those who are guilty by their blatant or complicit support for abortion reveal that they are serving the industrial-complex of death, financing the flourishing of a holocaust. Any individual, organization, or society that lends its support to that murder is following after the god of this world. They are enemies of God. They are by nature children of wrath.

So how should we as believers respond to such evil?

Righteous Hatred

I hate Planned Parenthood. I’m not afraid to say it. This organization must be stopped and we should do everything within our power to stop it. Do not be afraid to pray for God’s judgment against the wicked deeds of evil men.

Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
O righteous God!
-Psalm 7:9

 Righteous Love

Yes, those who support abortion are enemies of God. Yes, they are by nature children of wrath. But so were we. While praying that God would stay the evil works of their hands, we should also beg him to exchange their hearts of stone for ones of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). We should pray that God would miraculously save even those who sell baby parts so that they might be a trophy of His sovereign grace. That they might be able to say, “I once took life and death into my own hands but now I know that life and death are of the Lord.” Why might they say that? Because God reveals to them that there is only one Lord of Whom it is said:

The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
-1 Samuel 2:6

Because He shows them that He brought His Son to the grave and raised Him up. Fanny Crosby was right. “The vilest offender who truly believes, that moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” Thank God that’s true even when the vilest offenders are those who would sell the organs of murdered infants for profit.

With that in mind, may we rage, and work for the end to such atrocity, for the blood of the tortured and trafficked unborn lives to be avenged. Call your congressmen and senators on a national and state level. Organize protests. Spread the word. Band together for the abolition of this evil.

And may we pray and love and plead for the redemption of those who even now support it. Love those who are proudly pro-choice. Preach and proclaim and display the good news of Jesus Christ. After all, their desperate need for the gospel of grace is no greater than our own.


Matt Beard, a native Tennessean, lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Whitney and their brand new baby girl Emery Cate. Matt is a graduate student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on Twitter at @MattBeard

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